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Quins finally face a tough test in bid for clean sweep

Harlequins were truly blessed by the draw for this season's Heineken Cup pool stage – Connacht, the weakest of the Irish teams, and the Italian side Zebre, the weakest team in Christendom, were opponents of which dreams are made. However, they will find themselves thoroughly tested when they chase a clean sweep of victories, together with guaranteed top seeding for the quarter-finals, in the Basque country tonight.

On The Road: A dip in the sea in the south of France

Our first family holiday was anything but a holiday, I realised, at 4am in a turquoise-walled suite in the South of France, where the peace was broken at regular intervals by a wailing baby. Correction: my wailing baby. While we were trying to introduce her to a new routine, it seemed that she was breaking us into a completely new way of being, a holiday where we couldn't relax, even when she was sleeping.

Ready To Wear: I'm coming over all red, white and blue and – what's

While the world at large has been moaning about the weather which, admittedly, has been remarkably inclement, not to mention the remarkable lack of security at the Olympics, something remarkably strange has been happening to my wardrobe. "You're wearing red, white and blue," says my friend and I realise that there's no arguing with her.

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Harinordoquy's dad joins son on pitch to fight opposition

Imanol Harinordoquy, the exceptional No 8 who did more than anyone to drive France towards October's World Cup final in Auckland, may be the proudest Basque ever to play international rugby – a pride that has been known to manifest itself in a fierce dislike of the opposition, even if they happen to be Basques themselves. Anyone wondering where he gets it from has no need to wonder further. Blame the parents – or at least, M Harinordoquy Snr.

Iamanol Harinordoquy's father joins son in brawl during match

Tuesday’s Basque derby was always going to be a spiky affair – Biarritz, bottom of the table and without a home win in the league this season, against the star-studded ensemble put together on the chequebook of France’s Mr Specsavers, Alain Afflelou.